Fitch Rates Axis Bank's Proposed First "Green Bonds"
OREANDA-NEWS. Fitch Ratings has assigned India-based Axis Bank Ltd.'s (BBB-/ Stable) proposed USD500m senior unsecured debt an expected rating of 'BBB-(EXP)'.
The notes, which would be the first "Green Bond" (proceeds used only to fund environmentally friendly projects) issuance from the bank, and will constitute direct, unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations of the issuer. The notes will at all times rank pari passu among themselves and with all other unsubordinated and unsecured obligations (other than subordinated obligations) of Axis Bank.
The financing of Eligible Green Projects are described in, and in accordance with, Axis Bank's Green Bond Framework.
The tenor is likely to be around five years, and the notes are to be issued by Axis Bank's Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) branch.
The final rating is subject to the receipt of final documentation conforming to information already received.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The senior unsecured instruments are rated at the same level as the bank's Issuer Default Rating (IDR), in accordance with Fitch's criteria.
Axis Bank is the third-largest private bank in India by asset size, and Fitch expects a moderate probability of support from the state, if required, as reflected in its Support Rating of '3' and Support Rating Floor of 'BB+'.
For more details on Axis Bank's ratings and credit profile, see "Fitch Affirms Ratings on 9 Indian Banks; Downgrades PNB's VR", dated 31 August 2015, Credit Update on Axis Bank dated 27 October 2015 and "Axis Bank Ltd. Ratings Navigator", dated 30 September 2015, available at www.fitchratings.com.
A change in Axis Bank's IDR will have an impact on the securities' rating.
Axis Bank's other ratings are unchanged and are as follows:
Long-Term IDR 'BBB-'; Outlook Stable
Short-Term IDR 'F3'
Viability Rating 'bbb-'
Support Rating '3'
Support Rating Floor 'BB+'
USD5bn medium-term note programme 'BBB-'
USD2.1bn senior unsecured notes 'BBB-'